- Associated Press - Saturday, March 22, 2014
Kentucky House rejects eminent domain for pipeline

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky House has passed legislation that would bar private natural gas liquid companies from using eminent domain laws to acquire property.

Companies such as the Bluegrass Pipeline project would be required to purchase land from consenting property owners before they can build on it.

Under current Kentucky law, oil and natural gas companies are given the use of eminent domain to claim easements for public service projects, but there is no specific language granting the same privilege to natural gas liquid companies.

Bill sponsor Rep. John Tilley, a Hopkinsville Democrat, said natural gas liquids do not provide a public service and don’t qualify for eminent domain privilege.

Rep. David Floyd, R-Bardstown, is a co-sponsor of the legislation. He said the materials pumped through the pipeline are hazardous materials for which Kentuckians receive no financial or environmental benefit.

“It’s like a colon that takes stuff and drops it down in Louisiana,” he said. “Only it’s not my products. It’s somebody else’s.”

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Ky. House OKs bill to help finance Rupp renovation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Supporters of a plan to help finance Rupp Arena’s renovation are facing their own version of March Madness in trying to win over Kentucky lawmakers.

Their proposal advanced to the next round Friday. The state House voted 52-40 to endorse the idea of letting Lexington officials increase their local hotel tax to generate money to help update the home of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team.

The $310 million project also includes building a new convention center near Rupp in downtown Lexington.

Next up is the Senate, which could present a more daunting obstacle for the bill’s supporters.

The measure drew a tepid response from Senate President Robert Stivers following the House action.

“We’re getting it late in the session,” the Manchester Republican said. “The reality is we only know of the essence of the bill, we do not know of the details of the bill. We understand there is quite a bit of division of Lexington over the issue.”

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